USCG interim policy re MARPOL Annex VI
The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Policy Letter providing interim guidance regarding voluntary compliance with MARPOL Annex VI by U.S. vessels. Annex VI outlines international requirements for vessel air emissions and air pollution prevention measures for vessels. The Annex enters into force on 19 May. The U.S. has not yet ratified Annex VI. Regardless, the Annex will apply to commercial vessels of 400 gross tons ITC engaged in international voyages. Eligible and qualified U.S. vessels may obtain Statements of Voluntary Compliance (SOVC) from their cognizant USCG Officer in Charge Marine Inspection (OCMI) or classification society. The SOVC will serve as proof of compliance until such time as the U.S. ratifies the Annex. MOC Policy Letter 05-02 (HK Law).
National Maritime Center Closed Due to Gov't Shutdown
The National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating it is closed due to the government shutdown. The NMC said it is authorized to maintain a small cadre of personnel to support national defense-related credentialing issues. Maintain the Customer Service Center call center: 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) and IASKNMC@uscg.mil will be monitored from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Regional Examination Center (REC) and other NMC phone/e-mail addresses will not be monitored. Maintain the NMC website, keeping the industry up to date on its status via the website and all list servers. -Examination appointments are cancelled and must be rescheduled after the shutdown is lifted. Online scheduling is disabled.
USCG MSO Jacksonville Receives Fourth Consecutive Commandant's National Quality Award
The Commandant of the USCG announced the MSO in Jacksonville was awarded the Commandant's National Quality Award for the fourth consecutive year. This year, MSO Jacksonville distinguished itself as the only USCG winner of the highest level award, the GOLD Award. Only one USCG unit has ever previously won the GOLD award. MSO Jacksonville is the only USCG Command in all of Florida to win the award this year, and is the only USCG Command nationwide to receive the award four years in a row. The USCG Commandant's National Quality Award exists to recognize and promote achievement in the implementation of quality concepts throughout the USCG.
Finmeccanica - Alenia Aermacchi Awarded USCG Training Contract
Finmeccanica - Alenia Aermacchi has been awarded a contract with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to provide training services for initial cadre members who will fly the USCG’s newly acquired C-27J. The training will consist of in-class sessions, flight simulation instruction, and in-flight training for USCG pilots and loadmasters. In 2013, the USCG received 14 C-27Js through the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The aircraft will be used for medium range surveillance USCG missions such as maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response and search and rescue. The C-27J represents an efficient, cost-effective solution to the USCG’s recapitalization program.
ASA Takes Up Deepwater Project Cause
In a recent Special Edition of its newsletter, the American Shipbuilding Association said top priority should be given to the USCG Deepwater Project. "The Integrated Deepwater Systems Capabilities Replacement Project is the most important and vital acquisition in the history of the USCG. The Deepwater project is the replacement and modernization of the USCG's current Deepwater assets - some of which rely on 1950s technology - with a 21st century integrated system of ships, aircraft and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. Out of the USCG's 41 high and medium cutters, approximately 30 - or 70 percent - were built more than 25 years ago and have already completed one fleet modernization.
USCG Celebrates 209th Anniversary
Originally formed as the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790, the USCG, which celebrated its 209th year anniversary in August, has grown to include other federal agencies including the U.S. Life-saving Service in 1915, the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1939 and the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection Service in 1942. As a result, the missions of the modern-day USCG include safety of life at sea, maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection, waterways management, and national defense. Therefore, the USCG is truly a multi-missioned maritime service. Recently, the USCG was authorized a battle streamer for the Maritime Defense of the New Republic.
USCG Denies DESMI’s BWTS Test Appeal
The U.S. Coast Guard has denied ballast water treatment systems manufacturer DESMI Ocean Guard’s appeal regarding the USCG’s initial decision to reject the use of the MPN test method in type approval testing of ballast water treatment systems. Even though DESMI is considering all options, a test program for the RayClean system has already been launched in order to demonstrate compliance with the FDA test method accepted by the USCG. On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)…
MISHA to Install DESMI BWMS Fleet-wide
Danish firm DESMI Ocean Guard A/S said it has finalized a contract to supply CompactClean ballast water management systems (BWMS) to the entire fleet of Turkish ship owner MISHA Shipping. The contract includes delivery of 10 CompactClean BWMS in sizes from 340 to 750 m3/h, with the first system to be delivered later in 2018 for the m/v Mohican currently under construction. MISHA Shipping is a privately held company with both shipping and shipyard activities. Its vessels are shallow-draft dry cargo vessels primarily designed for operations in Russian inland waters…
USCG Declares Top Ten Rescues of the Century
A dramatic video of a horrifically overloaded Haitian migrant sailboat pitching 100 of its passengers into the water as the vessel capsizes en route to the U.S. depicts what the USCG has determined to be its top rescue of the century. For more than 210 years the USCG has been saving lives at sea around the world. The USCG released the video on a compilation tape that shows highlights of the service's top 10 rescues of the century. The rescue of the Haitian migrants thrown overboard is representative of the 255,937 migrants USCG has rescued from overcrowded, unseaworthy craft just since 1980. Many would have undoubtedly have lost their lives during these highly risky crossings had they not been intercepted by the USCG while trying to illegally reach U.S. shores.
USCG Launches $1.1 Million Virtual Private Networks
The USCG is deploying Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) based on 3Com's wide area network (WAN) systems. Using VPN connections, the agency will be able to quickly transmit mission-critical and administrative information from its land-based facilities to ships at any port where USCG vessels dock. Deployed in June on cutter Dependable, the 3Com VPN solutions will soon be extended to all of the USCG's 250+ ships. The $1.1 million investment in VPNs is based on 3Com's SuperStack II NetBuilder SI routers and follows the implementation of the Standard Workstation III Local Area Network (LAN) Cabling Project in 1998, when the agency rolled out 3Com Fast Ethernet networks to its entire fleet and many land-based facilities.
ClassNK Receives Expanded Authorization from U.S. Coast Guard
The world’s largest classification society ClassNK announced that it was granted expanded authorization from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) on 25 December 2012, and will now be able to carry out a full range of surveys for the SOLAS, MARPOL and AFS conventions, as well as ISM Audits on behalf of the United States flag administration. The announcement was made following a visit by ClassNK Executive Vice President Dr. Takuya Yoneya to USCG Headquarters in Washington D.C. on 7 January 2013. During the visit Dr.
USCG Creates Y2K Web Site
The Pacific Area USCG (covering the western U.S.) has established a Y2K workgroup and web site to help identify potential problems from the millennium bug for the maritime and boating community. The web site (www.uscg.mil/pacarea/pm/Y2K/Welcome.htm) addresses USCG preparedness and what the agency is doing to continue providing services throughout the Y2K adjustment process. It also addresses lessons learned during the contingency planning process and invites readers to share their lessons learned.
Safety Alert – USCG Rescue Coordination Center Alameda
The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert stating that, effective November 13, the e-mail address for USCG Rescue Coordination Center Alameda changed from firstname.lastname@example.org to the new domain address of email@example.com . All Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) units utilizing e-mail notification functions should be updated to reflect this change. Source: HK Law
USCG Implements Y2K Command Center
Essential Technologies, Rockville, Md., announced the USCG is using its Y2K Command Center software to manage Y2K data submitted to the USCG by marine industry businesses in accordance with USCG Y2K reporting requirements. This initiative is part of a nationwide USCG program designed to collect information about ships and port facilities, and evaluate their Y2K preparations and the potential risk of their operations during Y2K critical periods. This evaluation will determine whether any operational restrictions will be placed on individual operators. Regardless of such restrictions, however, the USCG has said it will keep all ports open.
USCG Commissions Cutter Walnut
USCGC Walnut, one of the newest ships in the USCG's fleet, was formally commissioned at the USCG Integrated Support Command on Sand Island, Hawaii. Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris and Vice Adm. James M. Card, Vice-Commandant of the USCG, were guest speakers at the ceremony. Walnut, a 225-ft. Juniper-class aids to navigation tender, is equipped with the most advanced electronic navigation and propulsion systems of any USCG cutter. In addition to its mission of tending navigational buoys and lights, Walnut may be tasked at any time to conduct law enforcement, search and rescue, oil spill recovery and national defense. This is the second cutter to be named Walnut. The first served in the USCG from 1939 to 1982 and was homeported in Honolulu from 1941 to 1954.
NSF Expands Independent Lab for USCG
The NSF International Independent Laboratory (IL), the first designated by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to test ballast water management systems (BWMS) for U.S. type approval, will now include the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) expertise. ABS will complete design/construction and documentation reviews as part of the type approval, and will work with three other IL partners to maximize the value of USCG type approval testing for BWMS manufacturers. ABS will also evaluate the appropriateness of the systems for installation and operation onboard vessels. NSF’s IL partnership, formed in 2012, includes Retlif Testing Laboratories, the Great Ships Initiative, the Maritime Environmental Resource Center and now ABS.
Lloyd’s Register Admitted to USCG’s Alternate Compliance Program
Lloyd’s Register has been authorized to participate in the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Alternate Compliance Program (ACP), which enables it to act as a recognised organisation (RO) for US-flagged vessels, capable of verifying compliance with United States design and inspection requirements and issuing statutory certificates. David Moorhouse, Executive Chairman of Lloyd’s Register and RADM Thomas Gilmour, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection, USCG, today signed the agreement at Lloyd’s Register’s London Office. The technical annex to the agreement was signed by Joseph Angelo, Director of Standards, USCG and Alan Gavin, Marine Director, Lloyd’s Register.
USCG Approves DESMI Ocean Guard for All Salinities
On October 11, 2013, DESMI Ocean Guard’s ballast water treatment system OxyClean was granted U.S. Coast Guard AMS acceptance. The AMS acceptance covers all salinities ranging from freshwater to marine water. This is the first time the USCG has released an AMS acceptance that covers all salinities, as all previously released acceptances are valid in only marine and brackish water, and hence not valid in freshwater. Since the very beginning of the development of the OxyClean system, DESMI said it has been focused on developing a system that will work in all salinities.
USCG-approved Tests of Alfa Laval PureBallast on Track
Following the United States Coast Guard (USCG) decision not to accept the most probable number (MPN) method in assessing ballast water treatment systems, tests of Alfa Laval PureBallast are underway using the USCGA-approved 5 chloromethylfluorescein diacetate (CMFDA) staining method. With completion expected during Q2 of 2016, the tests will enable a new USCG type approval application after receiving the results. In mid-December 2015, the USCG issued its decision that the MPN method is not equivalent to the CMFDA staining method stipulated by the USCG Ballast Water Discharge Final Rule.
OSHA Standards Applicable on Uninspected Vessels
There has been much ado over the recent Supreme Court ruling that a commercial uninspected drilling vessel must comply with applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards since the vessel was not regulated by under the USCG inspected vessel standards. Those in the know within the industry do not regard this ruling as anything of great consequence, but rather a return to nationally uniform rulings of the law. The case Choa V. Mallard Bay Drilling, Inc. involved an explosion onboard the inland drilling barge RIG 52 in June of 1997. The RIG 52 was in Louisiana waters and was nearing completion of a well when an explosion occurred killing four crewmen and injuring two others.
Interagency Task Force Affirms USCG Missions, Cites RCP as Government-Industry Success
The Interagency Task Force on USCG Roles and Missions has submitted a report to the President reaffirming the importance of the USCG's current mission portfolio and "emphatically and unanimously" supporting recapitalization of the Coast Guard's aging deepwater force capability. Of particular interest to AWO members, the report also affirms the value of government-industry partnership and highlights the AWO Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) as a model of such programs' success. Established by Executive Order in March 1999, the task force was charged with providing "advice and recommendations regarding the appropriate roles and missions for the USCG through the year 2020." The task force was asked to give particular attention to the need to modernize the USCG's fleet of deepwater cutters…
Consolidated Grain and Barge Under Investigation
At least 15 vessels that are "impermissibly controlled" by Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. (CGB) could lose their right to trade in U.S. waters within a month, said the USCG. After an "exhaustive investigation," the USCG has concluded Japanese-owned CGB illegally maintains control over 15 towboats and workboats through two companies: Paragon Marine Services, Inc., of St. Louis, and M/V One, L.L.C., of Covington, La. Under the federal Jones Act, vessels operating in U.S. domestic commerce must be controlled by Americans. Control by the CGB, then, is a violation of the Jones Act, said the USCG. Such USCG enforcement actions are highly unusual. An action involving 15 vessels is believed to be one of the largest of its kind, according to the Maritime Cabotage Task Force.
Vessel's Voyage Terminated
USCG law enforcement officers terminated the voyage of a vessel near Petersburg, after the officers found discrepancies with the vessel's survival equipment. A law enforcement team from USCG patrol boat, Anacapa, boarded F/V Yabut, near Petersburg to conduct a safety inspection. The USCG personnel found the vessel's survival suits didn't have the required flotation belts. A review of the vessel's records showed the same discrepancy was noted in February, during a courtesy inspection. USCG officials ordered the vessel's owner and operator, Anthony Muskavage of Petersburg, to moor his vessel until he obtained the flotation belts and notified the USCG.